To Rob a Bank Is an Honor (Preorder)

Lucio Urtubia (Author); Paul Sharkey (Translator); Philip Ruff (Foreword)

Special Price $16.50 was $22.00

Publisher: AK Press
Format: Book
Pages: 312
Released: December 3, 2024
ISBN-13: 9781849355780

For the first time in English, the autobiography of the revolutionary outlaw who brought Citibank to its knees.

In 1981, Lucio Urtubia received a suitcase full of cash from Citibank executives, handed over the plates he’d used to forge 20 million dollars in traveler’s checks, and walked away a free man. This is the true story of the most famous Robin Hood of the twentieth century, a lifelong anarchist who robbed from the rich to give to liberation struggles the world round.

Born to a poor family in the Basque Country, Urtubia was conscripted into Franco’s army before fleeing to exile in Paris, where he worked as a mason by day and collaborated with Catalonian anarchists by night. Soon, he was planning bank heists to fund the Spanish struggle, stealing weapons, and masterminding the escape of resistance fighters. Following the uprisings of May 1968, Urtubia opened a printshop, producing political pamphlets while secretly counterfeiting passports and workers’ paychecks—until he hit on the scheme that would make him infamous. “He who robs a thief is a thousand times forgiven!” Urtubia declared. Over decades, he funneled support to such organizations as Italy's Red Brigades, the West German Baader–Meinhof group, the Black Panthers in the US, and the ETA Basque separatists.

Told with Urtubia’s free-flowing warmth and humor, To Rob a Bank Is an Honor narrates the life stories and political convictions of a larger-than-life figure at the center of an incendiary era.


Lucio Urtubia (1931–2020) was a bricklayer, antifascist, forger, bank robber, and anarchist. Born in the Basque Country, he lived most of his life in Paris. He met his wife, Anne Garnier, during the events of May 1968 and together they had one daughter. In 1991, they opened an anarchist social center in the Belleville neighborhood of Paris called L'Espace Louise-Michel, which continues to operate after his death. Urtubia's life has been the subject of the documentary Lucio (2007) and the Netflix film A Man of Action (2022).

Paul Sharkey has made a vast body of anarchist works available in English, including those of Peter Kropotkin, Errico Malatesta, Nestor Makhno, and many more. He lives in Ireland.

Philip Ruff is an historian and author of A Towering Flame: The Life & Times of the Elusive Latvian Anarchist Peter the Painter.

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